State of the Game: Playing & Watching

Another week down, more stuff played and watched. I mostly have blurbs this time around, because I spent the majority of the week playing League of Legends. I did play some other stuff as well as keeping up on TV shows so let’s jump right in.

League of Legends

I played a shit ton of League as I said. I mostly played ARAM, but did get some team builder matches in as well. As a result, I earned my support icon from the mode. support_iconI did end up buying one new champion, as I hit 4800 IP. Riot has been keeping up with their policy of dropping one champ from the 6300 tier down to the 4800 tier each time a new one releases, so there were some extra options. I was tempted to just continue saving until I hit 6300, but I ended up purchasing Fizz. I haven’t played him a whole lot, but in ARAMs where I got him (due to being in the free rotation) I did fairly well. Plus my end goal is to eventually own them all, so add one more to the pile. I believe at this point I still have 36 to collect. Meaning I own like 70-something. Not bad, but considering the amount of years I’ve played the game you’d think I’d have more. I had a rather good performance with Janna within the last few days, so I’ll just leave this here:

jannagg

I have been keeping up on the World Championship matches. This weekend I watched Samsung White utterly DESTROY Samsung Blue in the first semi-finals match on Saturday (early – 1 am) morning. Going 3-0, SSW will be representing Korea in the Finals. This morning I watched OMG and Royal Club as well; it was a better series, but RC advance to the finals for their second year in a row after a 3-2 victory. This will be the second year in a row we see a China vs. Korea final, with RC falling to SKT T1 last year. With the performances this week, I’m feeling pretty positive that Korea will take it all in the end, again.

Other PC Games

I gave a rundown of the newest Alpha build for The Forest along with some screens of a recent playthrough in this post.

I played some Starcraft II over the course of the week, finishing up a few more missions. I believe I am nearing the end of the Terran campaign, though it’s interesting the amount of missions you get to play the Protoss. Their missions help to break up the monotony of playing only one race for so long. I like the Terrans quite a bit more in SC2 than I did in the original. I didn’t like the Zerg all that much when I tried them in multiplayer, but I know that when I get to know them again in the campaign I’ll probably be back to loving them. I’m hoping to complete the first campaign within the next week or so.

I hadn’t touched Orcs Must Die in months (since I purchased really), but not so long ago I was gifted a copy of the sequel by Welshtroll and decided it was time I beat the first game so I could move on to the second. I played quite a bit yesterday, completing a handful of missions. I have a handful of levels left to beat, but also have expansion content because I bought the complete pack so I’m not sure how much I really have yet to do. Either way the game is fun for short bursts, or longer sessions. Hopefully by this time next week I’ll be ready for the 2nd game. I’m steadily moving through my backlog, despite not being able to focus on one game at a time 😛 The last mission I completed was pretty straight forward, but the one I’m on now where they introduce “the pounder,” is completely unfair. I failed twice, so I gave it a rest.

2014-10-11_00007
Bring on the horde!

The Path of Exile event played out on Saturday. I was a little late to the group so I had to sit out for a little while. I played my Witch solo for a bit, and hit level 23 (I could have sworn she was a bit higher level than that). When I joined in with the group, I played a Ranger I had created previously but hadn’t used much. It worked out as everyone had created new characters and they were about level 6 at that point which was the same level as said Ranger. We played for a couple more hours and I leveled that Ranger from 6 – 14. I got to experience some of the newer content in that the boss battles were more intense, but also had some new instances/events added in from one of the expansions. I didn’t take any screens… I don’t know why I keep forgetting.

The past week’s flash game for Bragtoberfest was called Axon. Initially Doone posted a laughable score, and I beat that rather quickly, posting one around 25k. Next thing I knew Jeromai made a post where she had hit 66k, completely blowing my score out of the water. I commented there that I was done… but then I decided to take another stab at it.

It didn’t take long for Murf to answer back at over 98k, and then Jeromai iced it with 108k. Now, I’m officially done. Next week’s challenge might play out differently.

Playstation Plus

I totally skipped over doing my typical Playstation Plus post. It was mentioned a few times in my circle so I just let it ride. I did dive into the games though, beating Chronicles of Mystara in one sitting. It was ok, but would have cost a fortune in the arcade where it originated. Those games were purposely designed to rob you of your lunch money. I played some Spelunky as well, and though it’s fun it doesn’t seem to have anything going for it as far as using it in Bragtoberfest. Maybe the daily challenges? sort of unsure about that. Giving us Batman Arkham Asylum seemed dumb. They already gave us Arkham City (the sequel, which I never played). Would have made more sense to give us Arkham Origins, but either way I’ve already beaten Asylum so that’s lame.

On TV

Hell on Wheels – took a mid season break, not sure why AMC is so fond of doing this. Been good so far, lots of intense scenes between the new governor and the main character. Was shocked that Common’s character was still alive but he was not himself after indians nursed him back to health. Sad that he had to be put down.

Boardwalk Empire – final season has been slow moving, but the weird part is the fact that they keep delving into Nucky’s past.. like why didn’t they care to do that in the first 3 seasons? Watching Capone be an idiot is fun, I love the actor playing him, as he was good ol’ Tommy in Snatch and that’s one of my favs.

The Strain – Season finale just happened, sorry to say that the “master” got away. Crazy that he could withstand direct sunlight, didn’t see that coming. Great show, can’t wait for next season.

Sons of Anarchy – Shit is getting really thick. Not only is there a huge gang war brewing between the bikers, the chinese, the mexicans and the blacks, it seems that Jax has played all ends against the middle. This is typical for SOA, there’s always these backhanded deals going on, but it’s hard to keep up with who is doing what. Then Gemma is “taking Juice out of town to safety” and he catches on that she’s gonna try to kill him. He looked like he might kill her. Sad thing is that he’s in the shitstorm for doing things for Jax and for her… yet they want him dead. No idea where this is going, but oh yes, there will be blood.

American Horror Story – I can already tell that this season is going to be much better than the last. For whatever reason I couldn’t get into Coven, but Freak Show has already started off great. The special effects for all the freaks (though I think some bits of that isn’t special effects) are great (particularly the two headed main character). The creepy factor of the serial killing clown.. man it’s gonna be a good season.

The Walking Dead starts later today. I cannot wait. When we left off, the crew had just made it to Terminus, and the consensus among fans is that they are cannibals. This wouldn’t be the first time the subject had been broached in the walking dead universe (season 1 of the game had a nice little farm with em). With the crew locked up in a train car, who knows how they’re going to bust out. But Rick didn’t look too happy going in there. He’ll be back with a vengeance.

So that’s about all I have for this week’s edition. 1.5k words later, I’m spent.

#stateofthegame #roundup

State of the Game: Round up of things

It’s that time again already. The weekly round up. Well, as you probably gathered by now, I mainly played World of Warcraft this week, so I won’t go too much into it. Here’s links to those posts if you missed them:

Warcrafting
Horde Side Endeavors

Despite Blaugust’s end, I still managed to post all but one day since the beginning of the month, and I’d say that means it mostly sunk in. I still don’t believe I’ll keep the daily posting schedule, but as long as I still have things to write, I’ll keep on writing. Make sense? Right then. Moving on.

In my last post I was going on about a particular group function that I was to partake in, but that bit fell through. Instead, I went about my business with Thalimoos, my new Tauren Paladin. I got him invited into Kamikaze Runners, and set about leveling some more through Azshara.

WoWScrnShot_090614_203131

Azshara is an interesting zone, and I hadn’t ever played through it before, so I’m not sure what has or hasn’t changed. Regardless, the Goblins seem to live here (which is weird, since after leaving the Goblin starter area you end up in Ogrimmar instead of here), there’s a bunch of the various fish-people, and a rather fun transportation system. Riding around on a rocket-on-rails reminds me a lot of rollercoasters, and those are always a blast. One of my favorite bits throughout the zone was getting these guys as followers:

WoWScrnShot_090614_231420

This elite Goblin task force was fun to roll around with. Later, I hit level 20 and was surprised to see that not only did I automatically learn apprentice riding, but I was also automatically given my racial mount: the Kodo Beast. I also tested out the Hearthsteed, and it was exactly the same in appearance, so I’m guessing the only bit that changes is with your riding level. I’ll confirm this at a later date.

WoWScrnShot_090614_234805

Otherwise I’ve been checking out the latest Playstation Plus Freebies and watching TV. I played Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale in the past, and I wasn’t all that thrilled with it. This time around I rather like it, but that’s because I’ve gotten a better understanding of it. The game is basically a rip-off of Smash Bros, but it’s done with mostly characters I know and love, so that’s ok. Nintendo lost relevance with me a long time ago. Where this game is lacking compared to Smash Bros. is the story. The “story” mode of PASBR consists of a more traditional arcade mode: fight a few rounds, beat the boss, move on. The little cut scenes don’t really add to any sort of ongoing story. The challenges force you to play particular characters, but they’re pretty basic as well. Overall, if you know Smash Bros. you know this game, so it is what it is. I’ve enjoyed the time spent so far.

The other new freebie, Hoard, is a pretty basic arcade-y game, and it’s fun but nothing really long lasting. You get a map, there’s buildings and crops and mobs to burn, you grab gold, take it to your hoard, and that’s about that. You compete against other dragons so you can fight them as well, and you can capture princesses. Like I said, basic. Fun for a few minutes here and there, but nothing that’s going to keep you engaged. I imagine it’s more fun with friends. That’s about all I’ve done with gaming. I would like to be playing other things, but as long as I have sub time in WoW, I’m not wasting it.

download

I’ve been watching Boardwalk Empire before bed lately, and got almost caught up. I’m towards the end of season 4, and season 5 is starting up on HBO very soon. I love the show. The time period, the gangster feel, the rebellion against prohibition. There’s a bunch of known actors and actresses in it as well, so the quality is superb.

sons-of-anarchy

Sons of Anarchy starts up this week, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they end the show. The last season or two lost some of the flair of the original seasons, partially because they’ve killed off fan-favorite characters, but also just the convoluted ideas they’ve used to push things forward. It was obviously that they needed to find a way to end it, and it seems producers and execs agreed. I am sad to see it go, because I’ve enjoyed it for quite some time, but that’s the way these things go. Better to know it ends on a high note. American Horror Story and Walking Dead are also on the horizon. Looking forward to those as well.

That’s all for this week. Til next time.

#stateofthegame #round-up #wow

TV Time: An Update

Last Summer, I wrote a post about Why I love AMC. It’s been a little over a year now, and there have been some changes to that lineup, and I didn’t really touch on other shows I watched outside of that particular channel. It’s still my favorite channel when it comes to TV series, though I do watch a few shows on FX and other networks.

Changes on AMC

Mad Men entered its final season at the beginning of this year. The longest running of these shows, it’s sad to see it go. They decided to do the same thing they did with Breaking Bad, in that they split the final season into two parts. So although we’ve seen half of it, we have to wait until the beginning of next year to see the last episodes. I cannot express how good the show is, despite really having a simple premise. Breaking Bad had it’s latter half of the final season play out last summer, and the conclusion was a bit different than I expected, though it wasn’t overly shocking. Another show that is no longer on the network that I had listed before was The Killing, which followed two cops in Seattle trying to catch a serial killer. The third season aired last summer, and the fourth and final season was picked up by Netflix (which I have yet to watch). You’d recognize the actors, with the main character starring opposite Brad Pitt in World War Z, and her partner having played Robocop in the recent reboot. All of these shows are on Netflix in there entirety (outside of the last few episodes of Mad Men), so you have no excuse to get caught up.

The other shows from that list, The Walking Dead and Hell on Wheels, are both still going strong. The 5th season of the former starts in the fall, and the 4th season of the latter is on currently. I watched the first episode, but having moved I forgot to add it to the DVR list, so I might have missed an episode or two by now. I’ll get caught up.

Additions for those vacant time slots have been pretty good as well. Low Winter Sun started after Breaking Bad ended last year, and it’s another cop drama. The plot twist is that the main characters have gotten wrapped up in a crime that they committed, and are trying to avoid being caught in the process. It has that vigilante spin that I rather enjoy.

Turn is another new show that looks to take the Mad Men time slot. It’s based on early colonial America, and the first spy ring forming. George Washington isn’t a president just yet, and the revolutionary war is brewing, but not started. The main character is the son of a judge of a small town, and he gets involved in the spy ring, being rather good at it. I enjoyed the first season and will tune in when it returns. Time period pieces with some historical accuracy are great in my eyes.

Halt and Catch Fire is taking the summer time slot that The Killing occupied. It’s a story about three wildly different individuals that come together to build a new computer in the 1980’s. The main character is a bi-sexual, the son of an IBM corporate exec, and a charismatic salesman type. His counterpart has worked for Cardiff Electric for years as an engineer, but had dreams of building his own computer (that he did with his wife in the past, but it failed) for years. The wildcard is a girl who dropped out of school and was basically a gutter punk, who is discovered by the main character and turns out to be a programming genius. They reverse engineer an IBM machine and start creating their own entry into the industry — The Giant. It’s a great show and rather gripping, and since it takes place in a time frame that I am more familiar with, I rather enjoy it.

Other Channels

Another channel that has been in my steady rotation for a number of years is FX (and to a lesser degree, the newer FXX). I used to only really watch their sitcoms like Wilfred, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, Legit, and Louie. In more recent years I started getting into their original series.

The first show I watched with any regularity was Sons of Anarchy.  A biker gang from central California, the SOA crew have had many adventures, and in a lot of ways it was a successor to shows like The Sopranos for me (for lack of a better correlation, the organized crime aspect is the only factor the two shows share). More recently I started watching American Horror Story which is a unique show in that it isn’t an ongoing series, rather it favors individual stories per season. The first two seasons really hooked me, though the last season centered around a Witches’ Coven in New Orleans fell a little flat.

Fargo which is loosely based on the movie from the 90’s (and stars Bilbo Baggins from the Hobbit movies) and is factually based on events that happened in Minnesota, just ended a few weeks ago. I loved it. It has an all-star cast, is a gripping crime thriller, and though the main character is the criminal, you really feel for him and his sad life (that changes throughout). I recommend it!

The Strain is the final show I’ll talk about on this channel, and it’s based on a book series. I haven’t read the books, before you ask. I have been watching the show though, and so far it has been really interesting. It’s currently running its first season, so I won’t go into the storyline because of potential spoilers. Just know that it’s an epidemic, and it’s not what you think. I’m seeing a bunch of different horror ideas rolled into one, and as a fan of the horror genre, it’s up my alley.

The only other show that I’ve really been watching is on Sy-Fy, and that is Defiance. You’ve probably heard of it as a gamer. It tells a story about a post-apocalyptic earth, where alien races have taken up residence and a small town called Defiance (in what would be St. Louis) is the focal point. The characters are well-rounded and engrossing, and the sci-fi meets real-world setting is interesting.

I am still very much a Game of Thrones fan, but that is obviously between seasons. Via HBO GO, I’ve also been catching up on Boardwalk Empire, which is most definitely a good substitute for The Sopranos, but in a further-in-the-past setting.

Any of these shows listed come with my recommendation. If we are semi-like-minded, you will enjoy them as well.

#tvshows #blaugust #amc #fx #hbo